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When taking a vacation, one of the most important things to remember is travel money. Search the best live rates from the best providers to get your travel money sorted today!
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Buy currency/Travel Money
What does that term mean?
Buying currency for a holiday doesn't mean you need to trade the foreign exchange market! It's simply a transaction - like buying bread - where you exchange one currency (like GBP(£)) for another one (for instance USD ($)). In this example the 'bread' is the USD ($).
You may hear the term 'buying a currency pair'. This is simply what we've just discussed. You'll find out more about this when we talk about 'Exchange rates'.
How do I actually get my travel money?
After you have decided on the amount of travel currency - say Euros (EUR (€)) - you want, there are a number of ways to get your holiday money:
- You can collect it from the outlet itself once you have agreed on the amount you want*
- It can be delivered to your door once you've finished the transaction
- The travel money can be transferred (or 'loaded') to a currency card**
*Due to COVID-19 there are a limited number of outlets that are allowing walk-in collections. We strongly recommend you opt for home delivery or direct transfer to a pre-paid currency card. Make sure you verify with the supplier before purchasing your holiday currency that these options are available
**If you want your newly purchased currency loaded to a currency card, it's better do get the card and load it together. It's cheaper and saves you lots of time. Read more about pre-paid currency cards below.
What if I don't use all my travel money?
Foreign currency providers do let you 'sell' your currency back if you don't use it. So this would be like giving three slices of bread back from the loaf that you didn't eat ('X' USD ($)) and receiving back part of your original currency ('X' GBP (£)).
Do I need to know a lot about exchange rates? Will I lose money if I don't?
The true answer when it comes to buying currency despite what some claim, is no.
Unless you're buying currency far in advance (say months and months) or purchasing a very large amount of currency, you don't need to have more than a very basic understanding of exchange rates.
In the longer term, the value of a currency can change quite significantly and in the shorter term, if you are a large purchaser, then even small changes can have a significant impact on how much you'll receive.
Here we assume neither conditions are true.
Exchange rates, the basic definition
The exchange rate refers to the current price level of one currency when compared to another one.
A simple way to think of it is for example, how many U.S dollars (USD) will I get for 1 pound sterling (1 GBP)?
If the USD exchange rate is 1.37, then for every 1 GBP I 'exchange', I will get 1.37 USD. You may also see it expressed like this: GBP/USD: 1.37. Here GBP is the starting or 'base' currency and USD is the desired or 'quote' currency - so for one pound sterling I can buy 1.37 U.S Dollars.
This is a powerful tool that's simple to understand and will really help you when looking for your holiday money purchase.
See live rates for some of the most popular currencies at the current best price. The data is provided in real time by our partners CompareHolidayMoney.com:
Compare the best rates for holiday money and learn more about buying currency - including things to look out for and tips to get the best deal possible!